The Messy Business of Marriage

It’s a prickly subject, this whole business of marriage. Bring it up and you will get varied responses and visuals…

“I wish I never got married”

“I wish we got married sooner”

“I could kill him”

“I know it’s till death us part for us”

Star crossed in love, holding hands and labeling a ballad as “our song” OR

Eyes rolling at each other, screams and rants, or worse, pockets of deep silence and chilling indifference.

With the often intense drama that accompanies two people who agree to share their lives with each other, it’s no wonder marriage is a huge money maker world-wide: wedding planners, divorce laywers, books on how to make or break a marriage, movies, etc. You get it.  Marriage is a huge deal.

I liken the start of a marriage (well, at least most marriages) to a magnificent statue, the type that is featured beautifully in art books on the coffee table and is given all flowery adjectives known to man. Then take a chisel to that statue and with each disappointment/expectations not fulfilled/argument, make a chip.  The scenario goes like this:

“Honey, did you get me item x from the Value Store like I told you to?”

“Oops, sorry love. I forgot”-Chip!

“How could you forget? You know how much x means to me.  I need it now”-Chip! chip!

(Thinking how ridiculous dear spouse is being) “I don’t get you.  Can’t you see how tired I am?  How can you be so insensitive? (voice rising to a crescendo) I never liked x anyway!”-Chip! chip! chip!

(Thinking why she got married to this idiot)”It’s all about you, isn’t it? It’s always been about you. (sneers well within dear spouse’s field of vision)-Chip!chip!chip!chip!

Repeat similar scenarios for months and years and before too long, the masterpiece is reduced to a horribly disfigured piece of stone that isn’t even worthy of a landfill.  And what on earth do you do with a tired looking piece of art?  Do you throw it away? Throw some varnish over it and hope that the massive dents won’t show through? Completely ignore it and put it in an unused corner of your house? Or do you put it on your mantlepiece and celebrate it?

In alot of ways I think that the survival of the marriage just depends on what both partners put into it.  Notice I said both.  It’s alot like cooking.  If you start out with a recipe and you both know and respect the common narrative of the instructions, the dish will most likely turn out edible, if not fabulous.  On the other hand if the cooking involves throwing in senseless proportions of salt, sugar, and mis-matched spices, well, you’ll get a dish called “Pandemonium”.  I guess Pandemonium isn’t so bad if that’s your thing but if it’s not, then into the trash it goes.  Oh and those dishes that look so yummy on the outside but taste like mud once you bite into them? In my book, those also qualify as Pandemonium.  I call them the Silent Noise.

Anyway, back to the statue.  Everytime I see those wizened old couples holding hands or bickering over who said what, I see a severely disfigured statue.  A statue that is almost reduced to a pebble yet proudly showcased on the mantlepiece.  With many, many, many chips.







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